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Re: Disposition of groff 1.23.0.rc4 feedback issues

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: Disposition of groff 1.23.0.rc4 feedback issues
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2023 02:04:28 -0500


I thought I should update the list below with more complete regression-
from-1.22.4 information.

At 2023-04-20T15:00:47-0500, G. Branden Robinson wrote:
> I've pushed a new personal staging branch, branden-2023-04-20 to
> groff's Git repository.  I've also pushed some documentation-only
> changes (meaning: changes to documentation files that affect only
> text, and don't require alteration of build scripts, Makefiles, etc.)
> to master since they are so low-risk.
> I'm ready for the next tag; I don't know if you want to make another
> release candidate and/or adjust the risk threshold for it given the
> portability feedback from Bruno.
> First the good news:
> At 2023-04-15T23:05:18+0200, Bruno Haible wrote:
> > On the following systems the build completes fine and all the tests
> > pass:
> > 
> > * Linux
> >   Ubuntu 22.04
> >   Debian 9.1
> >   Debian 11.1
> >   CentOS 8-stream
> >   CentOS Stream 9
> >   OpenSUSE Leap 15.2
> >   Manjaro 17
> > * Hurd
> >   Debian GNU/Hurd
> (I didn't see a report regarding macOS from Bruno, but it works for me
> on, which uses macOS 12.  Dave Kemper reports
> that Mac OS X 10.11.6 will exhibit the pdfpic.tmac problem discussed
> below.)
> The bad news can be summarized as follows:
> * Two distinct complaints about ms(7)
>   1. raw .bp requests sometimes not working (Savannah #64005)

This is a regression from groff 1.22.4.

>   2. raw .sp requests being nilpotent sometimes

This is arguably a regression from 1.22.4, and it, or at least a variety
of issues related to it at greater or lesser distances, has/have indeed
been argued at great length.  I would refer anyone who cares to discuss
it further to the test procedure I described at the end of my previous
mail on the subject.

> * Portability issues
>   3. build failure when building out of tree and the prerequisites for
>      running mom(7)'s test script are unavailable

This was a latent groff 1.22.4 bug exposed by a commit of mine on 2

I reckon this counts as a regression since a Makefile code path is being
followed now that wasn't in 1.22.4 when mom's test prerequisites were
not available.  On the other hand, if someone tried to produce a
distribution archive ("make dist") on such a system, I think that it
would have been erroneously missing mom's test script.[1]  I found this

>   4. build failure in gxditview on AIX

I think it unlikely that this is a regression.  I predict that groff
1.22.4 would _also_ fail to build on an AIX system where Xaw linked with
Xpm and Xext.  (I suspect this has been the case for years.)  But I have
no access to an AIX system to be sure.

>   5. build failure with Sun C/C++ compiler due to use of GNU attribute
>      extension

I have no information about whether groff 1.22.4 ever built successfully
with the Sun C/C++ compiler, but the uses of the GCC __attribute__
extension were both post-1.22.4 additions to the groff source code, so
we can regard this as a regression since this usage would (it seems) be
a sufficient condition for causing that compiler to fail.

>   6. build failure on MinGW due to platform not supplying <sys/wait.h>

I'm not sure groff 1.22.4 built on MinGW without being patched, but the
requirement for the this header file is a post-1.22.4 change, so we can
call this a regression.

I covered the next two already in the quoted mail, but in short...

>   7. test failure: gdiffmk

Not a regression.

>   8. test failure: pdfpic.tmac

Not a regression; in fact, thanks to macOS 12 sed supporting a (GNU?)
extension to the POSIX specification for sed, this failure does not
occur where on older releases of Mac OS X, it would have.


[1] Here's the relevant chunk of Automake script from 1.22.4.  It looks
quite different in 1.23.0.

momexampledir = $(exampledir)/mom
dist_momexample_DATA = $(MOMEXAMPLEFILES)

As I understand it, for the distribution archive's contents to be
stable, `EXTRA_DIST`'s value must not be dependent on build-time

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